MANILA, Philippines — Another artificial grass football pitch has opened its doors to the public with the completion of the Gatorade-Chelsea Blue Pitch at the Ayala-owned The Circuit in Makati, highlighting the continued rise of the sport’s popularity in the country.
Ayala Corp. president Fernando Zobel de Ayala, Makati Mayor Jun Binay and Makati Rep. Monique Lagdameo joined national team stars Phil and James Younghusband and Chieffy Caligdong during the inauguration of the newest football facility in Metro Manila Wednesday night.
The Blue Pitch, which measures 64.5 by 100 meters, will be home of Chelsea Soccer School Philippines, which is operated by the Younghusband Football Academy in the country.
The color of the pitch is based on the kit of the London-based club, which also has football schools all over Asia.
Chelsea Soccer School will co-manage the facility along with Ayala Malls.
What started out as a dream for the Younghusbands has turned into reality with the construction of the Blue Pitch which cost P18 million.
“We’re happy with the completion of the Blue Pitch and we hope that this will go a long way in our effort to promote the game,” said James Younghusband, who, like younger brother, Phil, were members of Chelsea’s Youth Team in London.
The Blue Pitch was one of two recreational facilities at The Circuit that was launched along with the Go-Kart area.
Chelsea executive Adrian New hopes that with the construction of the pitch, the school will be able to promote and teach the sport to more children.
New said Chelsea will also be giving time to teach the game to less privileged kids as part of its commitment.
“We believe it’s important to leave a legacy wherever we go,” said New. “This is the club’s way to give back to communities.”